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Bees on the TV: Shibboleth

Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

One of the most touching and beautiful Thanksgiving episodes of a prime-time TV show was The West Wing’s Shibboleth (original air date: November 22, 2000).

This episode has long been a fan favorite, mainly for the beautiful scene between President Bartlett (played brilliantly for all 7 seasons by Martin Sheen) and his personal aide, Charlie Young (played by Dule Hill), in which the President presents Charlie with his family’s carving knife. It is a heartfelt moment between beloved two characters.

While this episode has a central focus on an immigration issue (a group of Chinese Christian immigrants seek asylum in the US), there is an underlying theme in Shibboleth – a need for more comprehensive education.

For example, here are Sam (Rob Lowe), Toby (Richard Schiff), CJ (Allison Janney) and Josh (Bradley Cooper) “discussing” American history:

Near the end of the episode, President Bartlett demands that a young student goes back to his school “and demand to be better prepared for the world”:

We cannot assume that young people are being taught everything in their school – and this time of the year, as we all gather around dinner tables and fireplaces, we have the perfect chance to have open conversations with those we love. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, mentors, and older siblings need to listen to what young people are saying and what they need to be successful in the world.

You can watch the entire episode below - a true Thanksgiving treat!

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